The Importance of Being Earnest: The Importance of Social Satire

Introduction Social satire is an important keyword of sociology, and it can represent some social meaning in the drama. Now, we have discussed dramas “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Private Lives”, these dramas have something social satire meaning in their performance process and character's dialogue and these will be the main point in our discussion. Before the discussion, we need to know the concept and foundation of social satire. Social satire is meaning the writer uses the way of humor to be revealed and criticize some social problems.

Therefore, the writer want represents some personal view and analysis for theses social issues by the play. Finally, the writer also through the play to satire something about the personal and social moral corruption problem, specific for the traditional social culture.

Oscar Wilde is the writer of 'The Importance of Being Earnest', and there also is a social satire drama. From the beginning to the ending, the drama main goal is wanting to satirized Victorian virtues, this is including the so-called noble morality and hypocrisy in the upper class.

Get quality help now
Prof. Finch
Prof. Finch
checked Verified writer
star star star star 4.7 (346)

“ This writer never make an mistake for me always deliver long before due date. Am telling you man this writer is absolutely the best. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

On the other hand, the writer of 'private lives', Noël Coward has talked about the couples' relationship, he tries to represent something difference vision of love to fight the mainstream culture, even broken up the idea that marriage is a wonderful grounding institution. These two dramas had satire the problems of social class and marriage system, these are important issues. Based on these two sets of drama, it is clear to see the function of social satire in their drama.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

The ‘Earnest’ in the title and the actor’s name ‘Ernest’ in the play are both puns. The title satirizes the fanaticism and admiration of these popular values of the 'Earnest' where the characters have serious about trivial matters, but it has less serious about major events. The most ironically is, two actors aren't honest, because they had dual Identities. They are not serious about their true identity, or such dishonesty, some extent alleviates their stress and boring life. In the drama, Algy and Jack dishonestly use the fake name to pursue their lover, but why Gwendolen love Jack. It is because she always wanted to fall in love with a man named Ernest. At this part, it is a satire about their love is based on the name of the man, which does not care about their character.

As Gwendolen said, It can see that sincerity seems to be less important to her. In the text, it can be seen from this that Gwendolen loves Jack, but she rather more focuses on superficial and trivial things, such as names. The drama also satirizes the Victorians attached to the utmost significance - the idea of earnestness. Therefore, it not only satirized about the institution of marriage and also sharply satirized by the superficiality characters in the play. From the beginning, we can realize the marriage system was not important in Victorian society.

Algernon and Jack discuss the nature of marriage when they dispute briefly about whether a marriage proposal is a matter of “business” or “pleasure,” indirect irony marriage is represented as a matter of business. According to LADY BRACKNELL. `I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men, although I have the same list as the dear Duchess of Bolton has. We work together, in fact.......'(Act 3 P.123). In this conversation, it like a business interview. They will consider other people's income and social position to decide their marry.

These assumptions reflect the importation of conventional preoccupations in Victorian such as social class, income and family background. Oscar Wilde humorously makes Lady Bracknell be the tool of the conflict and much of the satire. He uses Lady Bracknell this role to satire the Victorian tendency and reflects marriage as a financial arrangement. Through the text to directly satirizing the Victorian marriage system is definitely not based on love is based on some condition factor and surface standard.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
Cite this page

The Importance of Being Earnest: The Importance of Social Satire. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment